Pastor John P. Kee takes break from pastoral duties after falling ‘seriously ill’

By Libra Boyd
Gospel Music Fever

John P. Kee is recovering from illness

Pastor John P. Kee is recovering at an undisclosed facility following an illness that has taken him out of the pulpit of Charlotte’s New Life Fellowship Center “for a short period.” This news was released in an official letter from Shelia Lakin, church administrator, and posted Sunday, Jan. 28, on social media accounts affiliated with Kee and the church. 

The letter read, in part: 

Our beloved pastor, John, will be taking a break from his duties for a short period to heal and strengthen his physical, mental, and spiritual body. He fell seriously ill a few weeks ago and by the grace of our dear God, [o]ur leader has been given back to us! We know him as a true fighter and he is yet fighting back in our midst! Hallelujah [sic]

As many of you may or may not know, Pastor John’s recent severe injuries caused him considerable personal pain and discomfort. In order to fully recover and regain his strength, it is necessary for him to take some time off from his pastoral responsibilities. This break will allow him to focus on his healing and ensure that he can continue serving our church and community with renewed energy and faithful dedication.

Lakin’s letter continued with a call for prayer, “asking for a speedy recovery and a renewed sense of purpose and calling.” The letter also revealed that “in the meantime, he has been placed in an undisclosed facility.”

During this past Sunday morning’s service, Pastor Kee delivered a personal audio message to his New Life church family.

“Praise the Lord. If you’re listening to this message, you’re indeed a partaker of New Life Fellowship Global Church,” he began. “We’ve been called to effect change all over the world. God has used us mightily to do just that. As your pastor, I found myself in a position a few weeks ago where I didn’t know that I even existed. But oh for the grace of God, the warriors in prayer, my amazing team of doctors and surgeons, I’m here amongst the land of the living.” You can hear his full audio message starting at the 6:45 mark of the live-streamed service.

Our prayers are with Pastor Kee as he recovers from this health challenge, which comes on the heels of his mother Lizzie Shannon Kee’s passing at the age of 97 earlier this month.

Kee to be inducted into NC Music Hall of Fame – Oct. 17, 2013

John P. Kee is one of eight artists being inducted into the NC Music Hall of Fame this Thursday, October 17, 2013, at 7:15 PM.  The award-winning singer, songwriter, producer, musician, choir director, and pastor was born in Durham, “outside the county line,” and presently shepherds New Life City of Praise in Charlotte.
Inductions into the hall of fame are held annually to honor and
commemorate North Carolinians who have made significant contributions to American
The induction ceremony will take place at the GEM Theatre in Kannapolis.  Tickets to the event can be purchased at the NC Music Hall of Fame Museum or online at

Congratulations to Pastor Kee from GMF!

"Soldier Cries" – Lonny Bereal f. Tyrese, Foxx, Kee, Hamilton, Omarion & Hollister (Video)

Lonny Bereal
Lonny Bereal presents a poignant Memorial Day reminder of the sacrifices armed forces members and their families make on a daily basis with the emotional ballad “Soldier Cries.” Tyrese, Jamie Foxx, John P. Kee, Anthony Hamilton, Omarion, and Dave Hollister join him for the heartfelt tribute.
Bereal—whose discography includes performances with Kelly Rowland, David Banner, and Teddy Riley, among others—first recorded “Soldier Cries” as a solo on his debut album The Love Train.

Ethel Shannon, grandmother of John P. Kee, goes home

Mother Ethel Shannon
Ethel Shannon, the beloved grandmother of Pastor John P. Kee passed tonight, January 25.  She was 100 years old.
Mother Shannon can be heard on Kee’s various V.I.P. recordings including Lily In The Valley, and most recently on The Legacy Project.
GMF sends its heartfelt sympathy to the Shannon and Kee families during this time of transition.
Arrangements are as follows:
Public Viewing
Thursday, January 31, 2013
10 AM – 7 PM
Fisher Funeral Parlor
3137 Fayetteville St.
Durham, NC  27707 

Service of Remembrance
Friday, February 1, 2013 
7 PM
New Life Fellowship Center
1337 Samuel St.
Charlotte, NC  28206
Final Service of Remembrance
Saturday, February 2, 2013
12 noon  (viewing two hours prior)
Union Baptist Church
904 N. Roxboro St.
Durham, NC  27701

In lieu of flowers, please contribute to the Mt. Calvary United Church of Christ Sunday School, 1715 Athens Street, Durham, NC  27707.

John P. Kee throws grandmother a “rockin'”centennial birthday concert – June 9

John P. Kee is celebrating the 100th birthday of his grandmother Ethel Shannon today, June 9, with a free concert at Durham’s Union Baptist Church on 904 North Roxboro Street.  The musical starts at 3:00 PM.
Mother Shannon, whose birthday is Monday, June 11, was featured on Kee’s V.I.P. Mass Choir project Lily In The Valley.
Earlier this week, Kee invited fans to send birthday cards and well wishes to 118 Leacroft Way, Durham, NC 27703.

“Turn It Around” – Tim Rogers & The Fellas f. John P. Kee

“Turn It Around”
Tim Rogers & The Fellas feat. John P. Kee
From the upcoming CD, Real (Available June 19, 2012)
Blackberry Records

Question: What do you get when you put one of the baddest rising quartets and the “Prince of Gospel” in the same studio?
Answer: You get one head-bobbing inspirational tune that’s shaking up radio and uplifting hearts all over the country.
“Turn It Around” is the current single by Arkansas’s Tim Rogers & The Fellas featuring John P. Kee.  The 32 year-old singer/songwriter/pastor and Kee deliver this mid-tempo bounce so earnestly that by the time they finish hurling their doses of encouragement (“Even if your life is still in a mess, believe God for your blessing–it’s comin’ to your address”), your faith in the power of God is unwavering.
“Turn It Around” is from Tim Rogers & The Fellas’ forthcoming CD, Real, scheduled for release in June.


"It Could've Been My Son" – John P. Kee

“It Could’ve Been My Son”
John P. Kee

Last month when I expressed my outrage about the Trayvon Martin case (see related story), I reported the gospel community’s response and voiced my hope for the momentum to continue.

Pastor John P. Kee has set to music the sentiment of millions of parents all over the country with his brand new single, “It Could’ve Been My Son.”

Once a street thug and drug dealer, the father of nine witnessed firsthand the senseless violence that occurred in his neighborhood, including the untimely death of a close friend.  Since his spiritual transformation, the award-winning singer and Charlotte pastor has pursued an aggressive street ministry, especially to inner city communities.  For the past five years, Kee has hosted a gun exchange program–allowing people to trade in their guns for gift cards.  The guns are then given to the police to be destroyed.

“It Could’ve Been My Son” is available on iTunes.

Related Story
Members of the gospel community support justice for Trayvon Martin

VaShawn Mitchell wins big at Stellars (Complete List of 2012 Winners)

By Libra Boyd
Gospel Music Fever

Photo Credit: Rick Diamond
For VaShawn Mitchell, it was a weekend to remember at the 27th annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards.  Mitchell had his hands full, leaving with six trophies for his CD Triumphant, which features Billboard’s number one gospel song of 2011, “Nobody Greater.”
A special moment in the evening came when Kirk Franklin, after having won Song of the Year for “I Smile,” shared his award with fellow category nominee Darius Paulk, the writer of “Nobody Greater.”
Other honorees of the evening were Vy Higginsen, who was presented the Thomas Dorsey Most Notable Achievement Award, and John P. Kee, who received the James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award.  Higginsen is perhaps most recognized as the founder of Gospel For Teens and as the first black female writer, producer, and director of the longest running Off-Broadway musical in the history of American theatre, Mama, I Want to Sing.

Photo Credit: Rick Diamond
The James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Kee for his remarkable music career that spans over three decades and encompasses a myriad of gospel music accolades.  In the late 1980’s, he was crowned the Prince of Gospel.
During the pre-show (see related story), the Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones Legends Award was given to Dorothy Norwood.
Daughters of “The Royal Lady of Gospel” Delois Barrett Campbell (who passed in August 2011, at age 85) were also recipients of a special Stellar Award at the pre-show. The trophies will now bear Campbell’s name among the inscriptions.  Additionally, fans of the Barrett Sisters were thrilled to learn that a film documentary chronicling the life and extensive career of Campbell and her siblings is scheduled for release in March.  It will feature vintage music footage and lively candid interviews with the internationally acclaimed trio.
The Stellar Awards will air nationally on the Gospel Music Channel, Saturday, February 11.  Visit and click Local Airdates for the broadcast dates and times in your area.

Below is this year’s complete list of winners.

Artist Of The Year
VaShawn Mitchell 

Song of the Year
“I Smile” – Kirk Franklin

Male Vocalist Of The Year
VaShawn Mitchell

Albertina Walker Female Vocalist of the Year
Kim Burrell

Group/Duo of the Year
Mary Mary 

New Artist of the Year
Y’Anna Crawley

CD of the Year
Hello Fear – Kirk Franklin

Choir of the Year
Ricky Dillard & New G

Producer of the Year
Kirk Franklin

Contemporary Group/Duo of the Year
Mary Mary

Traditional Group/Duo of the Year
The Rance Allen Group

Contemporary Male of the Year 
VaShawn Mitchell

Traditional Male of the Year
Smokie Norful

Contemporary Female of the Year
Kim Burrell 

Traditional Female of the Year
Beverly Crawford 

Contemporary CD of the Year
Hello Fear – Kirk Franklin

Traditional CD of the Year
How I Got Over – Smokie Norful

Urban/Inspirational Single or Performance Of The Year
VaShawn Mitchell 

Music Video of the Year – Short Format
“Nobody Greater” – VaShawn Mitchell 

Music Video of the Year – Long Format
Church on the Moon – Deitrick Haddon

Traditional Choir of the Year
Mississippi Mass Choir 

Contemporary Choir of the Year
Shekinah Glory Ministry 

Instrumental Gospel CD of the Year
Music Remastered and Sacred Organ – Moses Tyson, Jr. 

Special Event CD of the Year
Bishop Morton Celebrates 25 Years of Music – Bishop Paul S. Morton

Rap Hip Hop Gospel CD of the Year
Rehab: The Overdose – Lacrae

Children’s Project of the Year
Teen Pure In Heart Live – Pure-N-Heart 

Quartet of the Year
The Rance Allen Group

Recorded Music Packaging of the Year
Make It Loud! – Martha Munizzi

Praise and Worship CD of the Year
Triumphant – VaShawn Mitchell

Spoken Word CD Recording of the Year 
Look at You Loving Me – Selah

Radio Station of the Year – Major Market
KJLH 102.3FM – Los Angeles, CA 

Radio Station of the Year – Large Market
WHAL 95.7FM/1460AM – Memphis, TN 

Radio Station of the Year – Medium Market
WLOU 1350AM – Louisville, KY 

Radio Station of the Year – Small Market
KOKA 980AM – Shreveport, LA

John P. Kee and Lisa Knowles team up on Youthful Praise release

J.J. Hairston and Youthful Praise is working on new music for 2012, and from what I hear, we should be on the lookout for a great pairing of John P. Kee and the Brown Singers’ Lisa Knowles on the forthcoming project.  This choir featuring these powerhouses is certainly enough to whet any appetite!

YP’s current CD is Resting on His Promise, released in 2009.